Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2014 Divisional Quarter Finals Predictions

1) The most exciting time of year is upon us. The Stanley Cup Playoffs! The premiere tournament in ALL of team sports. We will go through each of the 8 opening round series. Predict the winner and the number of games it may take to achieve the results as well as discuss some of the factors that resulted in our prediction. 

First The East

1) Boston-VS- Detroit:  Amazingly the two teams last met in the 1957 Stanley Cup semifinals, with the Bruins winning 4-1. Here it is 2014 and most prognosticators/bettors have their money on the Bruins. And why not?  From top to bottom they have few if any clear weaknesses. Can roll 4 lines all capable of both scoring and preventing goals. Solid defense led by the ageless Z-Chara, and Vezina callibre goaltending in Rask. The Redwings on the other hand have an interesting mix of youth and vets (assuming Datsyuk is back) who will not be out worked.  With Babcock behind the bench they won't be outcoached either. All that said we don't think these Redwings will be able to withstand a much deeper team in Boston and despite the games being close, we expect the Bruins to win a short series.  Bruins in 5 

2) Pittsburgh-VS Columbus:  The Blue Jackets' only 2nd ticket to the dance and the first since 2009. Columbus have been playing excellent hockey as of late, winning four of the past five to clinch a spot in the postseason. The primary reason why has been the amazing play of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who has carried his team down the stretch. Penguins have beaten Columbus in all five games they have played this year.  Columbus' only hope is if M.A. Fleury  is in 'playoff form'and 'Bob' can steal a game or two.  Else it'll be a short series. Penguins in 5 

3) New York -VS- PhiladelphiaThe Rangers and Flyers have met 10 previous times in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the two teams last met in the 1997 Eastern Conference Final when it seemed they played in the playoffs every season. While the name of the division may be different, it's now known as the Metropolitan Division,the intense rivalry between the New York Rangers  and the Philadelphia Flyers is just as heated as always. While both New York and Philadelphia have outstanding offensive units that can make serious noise, the key in this first-round series will be the special teams and goaltending, which is why we like NY. Rangers in 6

4) Tampa Bay-VS- MontrealThe Canadiens and Lightning have met once before in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when the Lightning were on their way to their one Cup back in 2004. Two evenly matched teams, outside of the Habs’ PK advantage and Tampa’s advantage 5-on-5. While some see the injury to Bishop as a large detriment we do not. Anders Linback played the last 2 weeks as the goalie the Bolts thought they traded for 2 years ago; large and imposing.  With the huge win at the end the Lightning copped home ice advantage which in our opinion will be the deciding factor here.  Lightning in 7

Next The West

1) Colorado-VS- MinnesotaThis is the third meeting between the Wild and Avalanche, with each team winning once. The hockey world waits to see what comes crashing back down to Earth first: The Wild’s goaltending or the entire Avalanche hockey club.  We believe that for the first round anyway, the Avalanche possess way too much overall talent to be denied. Although Bryzgalov will undoubtedly play large in goal and Parise/Suter will do their thing, they won't be quite enough and the Avs will advance.  Avalanche in 5

2) St. Louis-VS- Chicago: This is the 11th meeting between the Blues and Blackhawks in the Playoffs, but first since 2002. The overarching storyline in these contests would be the health of Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Both will play Game 1, but will they be 100%? While St. Louis has been excellent throughout the season, the fact that Chicago will be getting its two stars back in time for the playoffs and has the Stanley Cup experience from last year under its belt, and the fact that the Blues looked quite ordinary the last couple of weeks of the season. We believe those factors are enough to tilt this series the Chcago's way.  Black Hawks in 6

3) Anaheim-VS- Dallas:This is the third meeting between the Stars and Ducks, the teams splitting the first 2 meetings.  Can Bruce Boudreau avoid another playoff flop? Dallas did a great job to over take the Coyotes towards the end of the season saving their best hockey for last.  Will that translate into playoff success?  We believe at best it will give the Ducks a run for their money, but in the end Anaheim simply has too many weapons on offense, and regardless who plays net, top notch goalkeeping to be denied.  Ducks in 5

4) San Jose -VS- Los AngelesThis is the third meeting between the Sharks and Kings, each team having spit the first two.  Like we alluded to in a recent post, with a plethora of good teams out West, at least one would be dispatched in the first round.  Which California team will be golfing shortly?  The former champs in LA had an uneven season. Once again unable to score consistently, but getting great defense/goaltending to win their share of games. The Sharks on the other hand have multiple scoring weapons and their not shy using them.  Their goalie, Niemi is no slouch in net either, having already hoisted a Cup (in Chicago) As is usually the case it will come down to special teams and we believe that the Kings being more experienced and better at playing close games will ultimately prevail, but NOT easily.  Kings in 7

The Annual Award For Sucking!

1) The NHL will conduct its Draft Lottery today, Tuesday, April 15th. The lottery will take place in-studio with NHL deputy-commissioner Bill Daly revealing the results live on-air. This will be the 7th time the draft lottery will been aired live on television since the 'Crosby Draft' of 2005, and for only the 8th time in 18 years. The 2014 Philadelphia, PA draft Lottery, live at 8pm The lottery will also be simulcast live on the TSN.ca, NHL Network, NHL.com.  The bottom 13 (non-playoff) teams in the NHL will be eligible for the lottery, where odds are weighted by least amount of regular season points.  (It is normally 14 but the Devils lost their pick due to their punishment in the Kovolchuk contract idiocy a few years back

 The Devils will still receive the 30th overall pick a lessening of the original penalty where they were to get NO pick at all. The Devils will still be included in the lottery drawing with the same odds that would have normally been assigned to the club. In the event the Devils win the lottery, a re-draw will be conducted to select a different recipient of the first overall selection in the first round. Like last year tonight's lottery will feature the format where EVERY non playoff team (other than NJ)  could potentially WIN the lottery and the top overall pick. Representatives from each of the 14 teams eligible to win the first overall pick will be in attendance: Here's the breakdown: The top-seeded Buffalo Sabres (25.0%) have the best chance of winning the lottery, followed by Florida Panthers (18.8%), Edmonton Oilers (14.2%), Calgary Flames (10.7%) and New York Islanders (8.1%). The Vancouver Canucks (6.2%), Toronto Maple Leafs (3.6%), and Winnipeg Jets (2.7%) complete the group of five Canadian teams with a chance to choose #1overall  Daly will reveal the results in reverse order, alongside representatives from the league's five teams most likely to win the lottery.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Racism Alive and Well in Canada?

1) While we dislike throwing the r-word-Racism around we have to at least entertain that it may be playing a role in what we are seeing with respect to 2 talented players (of color) playing in two different cities north of the border.  Also to be fair, blatant racism in hockey isn't confined to Canada.  Who can forget the myriad of racist tweets Joel Ward received after he and his Capitals team dispatched the Bruins a couple of seasons back, or Wayne Simmmonds  receiving racist chants while playing in the Czech Republic during  last year's the lock out.

2) That said, we have been monitoring with increasing curiosity the fates of two very talented players who in our opinion are getting an unfair rap.  Both possess oodles of talent. One has already received a major award for best at his position.  Yet both are not looked upon by their local press favourably. The two players we're referring to are P.K. Subban in Montreal, and Evander Kane in Winnipeg.  In the case of the ladder, our interest was first aroused last year when Kane signed a lucrative extension. Afterwards he was spotted posing atop a hotel in Vegas sporting wads of currency.  Now if it were a Caucasian (non Euro) it would have been laughed off, or at least dismissed as boys being boys, etc. But in the Winnipeg press you would have thought that Evander was brandishing a weapon or doing coke in the photo.

3) More recently Kane was actually a healthy scratch for the first time in his career as the trade rumors swirl around Winnipeg as if the kid is soly responsible for the franchises failures to make the postseason (again) Meanwhile in Habitant-land for Mr Subban  the relationship between he and coach Michel Therrien continues to erode just a little bit more each night. He has actually benched his star defender for more than 10 minutes with games on the line. We understand its argueable/understandable to hold Subban accountable for his mistakes, but Therrien seems to delight in picking on him while letting other culpable players off the hook. With Subban’s contract coming up this summer, there’s reason to think he might be looking for a way out rather than a home run.  

4) It seems that with respect to both players negativity surrounds them regardless of how they are performing.  Subban despite his short comings is still the defending Norris trophy defender. No, he's not Larry Robinson, but he's not  exactly Rory Fitzpatrick either.  He deserves FAR more respect than he receives. Would he were he Caucasian?  Certainly if he were Francophone he would, but one has to believe that at least part of the reason he is being treated subparly is due to his skin color.  With respect to Kane, he acts no differennt than many young up and coming professional sports stars. A bit reckless, but nothing overly offensive.  However Kane, like Subban is many times being singled out.  The difference?  You make the call. Our  opinion is that racism is alive and well north of the border (like everywhere)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Week 26 Results

1) The day, week, month and season (almost) are in the books. At least we're done with respect to our weekly picks here at Fauxrumors.  First, for the day/night we went our usual strong self and finished well going 7-2 to bring the final season totals to 188-94, or an astounding .667 winning %.  We also were 'Locked' in getting that weekly choose correct to finalize that ridonculous total to 24-2, which translates to a .923 winning edge.

2) This will be difficult to match next season, but of course we intend to try.  In the mean time the most exciting tournament in professional or collegiate sports is about to get underway; The Stanley Cup Playoffs.  We of course will post our first round picks before the puck drops Wednesday.  Look for it.
As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Week 26 Picks

1) Yes, the season it just about over. Almost all of the playoff spots are locked in, with only minor jockeying of position left up for grabs today. Thus far we have accumulated a season total of 179-92, or a .661 winning %.

Buffalo at Boston: Bruins  (Lock of the Week)

 Philadelphia at Pittsburgh: Penguins

 NY Rangers at Montreal: Habitants

 Toronto at Ottawa: Senators

 Columbus at Florida: Blue Jackets

 Chicago at Nashville: Predators

 San Jose at Phoenix: Sharks

 Vancouver at Edmonton: Oilers

 Anaheim at Los Angeles: Kings

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Jagr Wants to Play in 21st Season!

1) In what is probably not a shocker, New Jersey Devil Right wing and ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr has told sources close to Fauxrumors that he intends to continue his NHL career next season. The 42 year old Czech native has not only participated in the Sochi Olympics but also in every game the Devils have played thus far, leading the team in every offensive categories. Even posting an impressive +14 on a team with few plus players.

2) The part of the story that we found interesting is that Jagr apparently intends to possibly move on to his 8th team (assuming he doesn't re-sign with a team he has previously suited up for) Not that he has any ill feelings toward NJ, but with their likely missing the playoffs and the future being cloudy, the veteren wants another chance to win a Cup.  We're told he would prefer to stay in the East where travel is far less onerous, but would consider one of the west coast teams if an appropriate offer from an East team fails to come to fruition.  Confidants of JJ tell Fauxrumors that he'd love to go back to NY and be part of the Rangers.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Week 25 Results

1) The second to last weekly picks post is completed. For the day we just missed perfection!!  WE went 10-1 with only missing the Sharks-Preds match up. This brings our season long totals to an astounding 179-92, or a .661 winning %. Unfortunately the one loss was also our 'lock to drop that stat to a still amazing 23-2.  WE  will complete the season next week when 9 games are scheduled on the next to last day of the regular season.
As always, keep it here for all the latest!
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